Baztab News

COVID-19: School closures affected up to 1.6 billion children worldwide

13 Aug 2020 Salam Watandar

MONITORING (SW) – Handwashing has strong links to health, particularly in public or institutional settings such as schools.

MONITORING (SW) – In a fresh report, the UN said here on Thursday that global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect up to 1.6 billion children and present an unprecedented risk to their education and wellbeing.

The latest global estimates found that in the 60 countries identified as having the highest risk of health and humanitarian crisis due to COVID-19, one in two schools lacked basic water and sanitation services and three in four lacked basic handwashing services at the start of the pandemic. Accelerating progress in countries with the lowest coverage of WASH in schools will therefore be critical to improving school safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, said the statement issued by UNICEF.

The report said provision of water at schools is one of the ‘highly effective practices in increasing access and learning outcomes’. In addition to the necessity of water to maintain personal and environmental hygiene, reducing student dehydration in schools has been associated with improved cognitive abilities. 

The report said that in 2019, 69 per cent of schools around the world had a basic drinking water service, but coverage varied widely between regions. Based on available data, achieving universal access to basic drinking water services in schools by 2030 will require a seven-fold increase in current rates of progress.

The report added availability of functional and private school toilets can positively impact health and learning outcomes, particularly for girls.

In 2019, 63 per cent of schools around the world had a basic sanitation service, but coverage varied widely between regions. “Achieving universal access to basic sanitation services in schools by 2030 will require a five-fold increase in current rates of progress”, it said.

Handwashing has strong links to health, particularly in public or institutional settings such as schools. In 2019, 57 per cent of schools around the world had a basic hygiene service – handwashing facilities with soap and water – but coverage varied widely between regions. Achieving universal access to basic hygiene services in schools by 2030 will require a four-fold increase in current rates of progress.

ENDS

Original Link: https://swn.af/english/Article.aspx?a=56587

Open Original News

More from Salam Watandar

Latest News:

Loading